Photo Credits: Model - Claudia Meyer; Women in wheat field, coastal line, sofa -
Fashion UK Background
Fashion UK's manufacturing industry generates tens of billions of British pounds
every year. In spite of this, UK is a net importer of clothing due to the influx
of low price clothing from abroad. To become competitive, UK manufacturers of fashion
UK have migrated to the high end upscale market.
Fashion has been portrayed as one of the most glamour careers in the world. While
few actually make it to the mega success level of a Donna Karan or a Nicole Miller,
many are making a viable living behind the scenes in support of Fashion UK.
What is UK Fashion?
On a global perspective, the British fashion industry is diminutive compared to the
power fashion houses of Italy or France. So what is British fashion? When someone
thinks of British fashion, images of traditional fabrics manufactured with high quality
are often top of mind. Whether they are shirts, boots, knitwear, or woven fabrics
(tweeds and tartans), traditional is the design's heritage. This has been exemplified
by the British men or women's tailored clothing.
The Fashion and Textile Supply Chain
The Fashion and Textile Supply Chain involves four major groups of businesses:
Someone interested in a Fashion UK career can tap into any of the four
supply chain areas. Furthermore, many of the fashion and textile products in UK
are purchased overseas resulting in import opportunities with the Far East, India,
Bangladesh, Turkey and Eastern Europe.
Fashion UK Buyers
Fashion buyers are responsible for the managing a range of fashion products for a
specific customer type and a price target. The Fashion Buyer takes advantage of
the globalization of the Fashion market. The major producers for low cost fashion
UK imports are from:
The Far East
Fashion buyers work with contacts for the manufacturing and distribution of the Fashion
UK industry. These contacts include the garment manufacturers, agents, indirect importers,
wholesalers or the retailer's overseas sourcing office.
Importers in Fashion Design
Certain fabrics used in fashion design have to be imported due to labour costs, raw
material availability and copyright. The fabric is often ordered in advance and
stored in a warehouse to meet market needs. Fashion designers will partner with importers
to reduce the complexities of having to do the importing themselves.
Fashion UK Retail Structure
There are a number of Fashion UK retail formats which clothing is sold through. Discounters
such as Wal-mart remain the dominant retail structure for Fashion UK. Supermarkets,
Clothing Multiples and Clothing Independents are other major retail channels for
fashion UK. Supermarkets have been a growing channel with the majority of the shoppers
being women between 35 to 55 years old.
Fashion UK Categories
Fashion UK covers a wide range of items which are proven opportunities for the importer.
The core clothing category varies from:
Underwear to Outerwear
Formal to Informal wear
Bespoke (custom made) to Ready Made
Natural to Man-made
The fashion related products include a whole range of accessories:
Haberdashery (buttons, thread or ribbons)
Fashion UK related services are adjacent industries which generate revenue from fashion:
Garment Co-ordination Advice
As an importer who wants to bring fashion related goods to UK, there are a wide range
of opportunities. You can get involved with supplying textiles or yarn to the fashion
design houses. You can also import clothing to sell in your retail or online store.
These are just some examples but the business opportunities are endless.